A helluva week!

This is my very first blog – yay! I nagged my long-suffering hubby to show me how to blog in between his packing to go overseas for 10 days. It seems simple, so far, so fingers crossed and here goes nothing.

Why bother to blog now? Because I’ve had one helluva week and I want to get it all out of my head so I might have a small chance of sleeping tonight. You see, last Saturday, one week before the RWNZ Charmed & Dangerous Conference (I’m on the conference committee), I had some amazing news. Only problem was, I couldn’t tell anyone! Well, except my hubby, my kids, my dad (who’s living with us), my mum and my in-laws. Oh, and my sister-in-law. Sheesh, it was soooo hard to keep this a secret because it was the most exciting thing to ever happen to me since I discovered I could write a manuscript.

So there I was, standing in the rain on the soccer field, cold, wet, miserable and with the flu. And my mobile rang. I almost didn’t manage to answer it, fumbling to grab it while wearing gloves. It was Barbara and I thought: oh no, what have we forgotten to do for the conference? Hard on the heels of that thought was: not another guest speaker pulling out due to ill-health! “Can you keep a secret?” Barbara asked me. “Um. Yes?” I sniffled. “You’ve won the Clendon Award!” Well, I burst into tears. And all the other soccer parents wondered what bad news I’d just got. “It’s wonderful news!” I sobbed. “I just can’t tell you what it is until next week!” So I rang my hubby. And his mobile’s switched off. What is it with guys and their mobiles? What is the point of having one if it’s switched off when we need to talk to them? Granted, he was refereeing our daughter’s hockey match at the time, but hey, this was BIG!

I left a message. It’s just not the same as talking to people. So I rang my mum and thank goodness she answered so I could cry all over again and tell her all about it. And when I finally got to tell my husband firsthand, I just couldn’t stop smiling. All day I jumped around saying: “Guess what? I won!” Points to him for his patience in the face of such lunacy. I tell you truthfully I didn’t sleep a wink all that night. I kept waking up and smiling before drifting off to sleep.

And after a few days, doubt set in. Perhaps Barbara had been incorrect, perhaps Leslie Wainger had actually meant someone else and not me. It was quite a relief when Barbara and Peter came early to conference goodie-bag stuffing night at my place and gave me a hug and personal congrats. It was really true then!

The rest of the week went by in a blur of kids after-school activities and frantic last-minute conference stuff. And on Thursday morning I was checking my emails before whizzing off to the hairdresser when I got another amazing email. The same ms that won the Clendon Award (Chalcedony’s Wulf) finalled in the FTHRW Golden Gateway competition in their Paranormal section. OMG! Talk about wonderful!

My week culminated in an incredible Conference listening to the most amazing guest speakers… Debbie Macomber, Paula Eykelhof, Erin Cartwright-Niumata, Fiona Brand, Deborah Challinor, Frances Housden, Bronwyn Jameson, Trish Morey, Yvonne Lindsay, Brent and Cathy Sneyd, Sophia James, Nalini Singh, Shelley Munro, Sarah-Kate Lynch and Stuart Macdonald. Wow! What a line-up. Receiving my award was incredible and after my acceptance speech (which I couldn’t get away without delivering, unfortunately!) my hubby said he’d never seen me so calm. Of course that’s only because I had a week of intense emotion leading up to the night.

So now it’s back down to earth. Family committments, bills to pay and GST (yuck!) to do, housework, washing and a 10-year-old’s birthday sleepover to organise. Tell me again why I thought it’d be a good idea to have 8 extra kids over for a sleepover when my husband’s not here to help? Wouldn’t swap it for the world, though. Being able to write and being acknowledged with an award for that writing makes me a better person and that flows on to my parenting as well. And where’s my Clendon Award right now? It’s proudly displayed on our mantelpiece, along with my son’s Player of the Day soccer trophy and my daughter’s Player of the Day hockey trophy. Saturday 19th August will indeed go down in history as a great day for the Anderson family!

:-) Maree

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